The almanac

United Press International

Today is Friday, Jan. 3, the third day of 2014 with 362 to follow.

The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Jupiter, Mars and Saturn. The evening stars are Mercury, Neptune, Uranus and Venus.


Those born on this date are under the sign of Capricorn. They include Roman philosopher Cicero in 106 B.C.; feminist and abolitionist Lucretia Mott in 1793; St. Damien of Molokai, a missionary to lepers in Hawaii, in 1840; British Prime Minister Clement Attlee in 1883; J.R.R. Tolkien, author of "The Lord of the Rings," in 1892; actors ZaSu Pitts in 1894, Ray Milland in 1907 and Betty Furness in 1916; entertainer Victor Borge in 1909; Maxene Andrews, of the Andrews Sisters singing trio, in 1916; football Hall of Fame Coach Hank Stram in 1923; Beatles record producer George Martin in 1926 (age 88); Italian film director Sergio Leone and Brazilian composer Ernst Mahle (age 85), both in 1929; actors Robert Loggia in 1930 (age 84) and Dabney Coleman in 1932 (age 82); hockey Hall of Fame member Bobby Hull in 1939 (age 75); musician Van Dyke Parks in 1943 (age 71); Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members Stephen Stills (Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills and Nash in 1945 (age 69) and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) in 1946 (age 68); actor Victoria Principal in 1950 (age 64) and actor/director Mel Gibson in 1956 (age 58); German racing champion Michael Schumacher in 1969 (age 44); actor Danica McKellar in 1975 (age 39); and pro football quarterback Eli Manning in 1981 (age 33).


On this date in history:

In 1777, the Continental Army commanded by Gen. George Washington defeated the British at Princeton, N.J.

In 1938, the first March of Dimes campaign to fight polio was organized.

In 1959, Alaska became the 49th state of the United States.

In 1961, the United States severed diplomatic relations with Cuba after Fidel Castro announced he was a communist.

In 1967, Jack Ruby, who killed Lee Harvey Oswald, the assumed assassin of President John F. Kennedy, died of cancer in Dallas.

In 1969, police in Newark, N.J., confiscated a shipment of the John Lennon-Yoko Ono album "Two Virgins" because the cover photo, featuring full frontal nudity, violated pornography laws.

In 1990, deposed Panamanian dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega left his refuge in the Vatican Embassy in Panama City and surrendered to U.S. troops. He was taken to Florida to face narcotics trafficking charges.

In 1991, AIDS was removed from the list of diseases that would automatically bar an infected person from entering the United States.

In 1993, U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed the START II treaty reducing strategic nuclear arsenals by two-thirds.


In 2003, Democrats John Kerry, John Edwards, Howard Dean and Al Sharpton announced runs for their party's 2004 presidential nomination.

In 2004, a Flash Airline Boeing 737 crashed shortly after takeoff in Egypt, killing 148 people.

In 2006, Jack Abramoff, a Washington lobbyist, agreed to plead guilty to fraud, public corruption and tax evasion charges and to testify against politicians and former colleagues.

In 2009, after more than a week of intense airstrikes, Israeli troops crossed into Gaza, launching a ground assault against the militant Palestinian group Hamas. More than 430 Palestinians and four Israelis had been killed.

In 2012, the Taliban in Afghanistan announced they would open a political office in Qatar. Observers saw the move as a positive sign that could lead to peace talks between the insurgents and the U.S.-led Afghan coalition.

In 2013, a suicide bomber killed at least 27 Shiite pilgrims at a bus station in Iraq. The bombing followed days of demonstrations against the country's Shiite-dominated government.

A thought for the day: Henry David Thoreau said, "Be true to your work, your word and your friend."


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